Facilitating learning

October 8, 2010

I do not teach.  I “facilitate learning.”  This is hard for many of my students to understand.  Many want me up in front, behind a podium reading my notes, or flicking through PowerPoint slides.  Why?  Because it’s easy.  It’s easy for the student to sit back and not participate, not engage.  However, I refuse to give them what they want.  (This refusal is sometimes commented upon in my semester student reviews…one student explained, “She doesn’t teach, has the students do all of the teaching.”  Exactly.)  David Warlick has a great blog post discussing the role of the student as learner. http://davidwarlick.com/2cents/?p=2762 

Therefore, I present this information about myself at the beginning of the semester, so that the student can be aware of my expectations:

My purpose is to provide students with practical knowledge of problem-solving skills while facilitating self-actualization to bring about fundamental, social and cultural change in society through education. My students must be self-directed and highly motivated, assuming responsibility for their own learning. My students are voluntary participants.

My role is that of a facilitator–to support the learning process. I believe in experience learning, open discussions, self-assessment, cooperative learning, critical discussion, freedom and empowerment.

Therefore, this class will change with each of you–so be flexible.